The Decision Maker

Cooperative Data Analytics Through a Semantic Layer

Posted by Nate Wentzlaff on May 30, 2019 11:04:00 AM

Credit Unions Need to Establish a Common Language to Strengthen the Credit Union Movement

On a recent trip to Malaysia, I was able to play basketball with my brother-in-law (my wife is Malaysian). As we began the game, I realized that we were all relying on a single source of truth for the rules of basketball.  Even though we are from very different parts of the globe, we were operating under the same definitions of the rules of basketball. Imagine if we all began playing according to sources of the truth that dictated different ways to play basketball. Maybe my source of truth told me that I don’t need to dribble to play the game. The other team’s source of the truth dictated that they can tackle the other team. This game would end horribly and would probably escalate into a conflict quickly. The same is true for data analytics within the credit union movement today.

Different Sources of Truth

Within most credit unions, there are many different sources of truth. Marketing departments have their sources, Accounting has theirs, and Lending has as many sources as types of loans (i.e. credit cards, mortgages, student loans, etc.). Over the course of time, every department begins establishing their own language based on their sources of truth, which are usually centered around a specific source system. For example, the marketing team has an MCIF system, which has an abundance of data regarding households and members’ profiles. The lending department relies on its loan origination system, which displays information found within a member’s loan application. All the while, the contact center relies on their CRM, which houses data collected during calls with members. When there is a need to work together to accomplish a goal, these various departments come to a meeting speaking different languages and using a separate understanding of the rules of the credit union. Like the game of basketball without a common source of truth, the project or initiative often ends horribly.

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Topics: Data Integration, Semantic Layer, Collaboration

IMMERSION19 - Top 10 Takeaways

Posted by Erika Hill on May 23, 2019 11:52:00 AM

Trellance just concluded its annual conference, IMMERSION19, where ideas and strategies took the shape of keynote presentations, breakouts and networking among credit union professionals. As in past years, there were many key takeaways. Here are the top 10 takeaways from the keynote presentations.

60% of all data analytics endeavors fail.

Tom Davis, President & CEO of Trellance, shared a warning in his opening keynote that many data analytics efforts within organizations fail more than they succeed—and cost more money than expected. Tom urged credit unions to consider partnerships to advance their moves into big data.

Take big data and make it small.

Credit unions have more data about some of their members than what Amazon knows about its customers, according to Erik Qualman, an author recognized by Forbes and Fortune as one of the Top 100 Digital Influencers. Credit unions need to be using their collective data to customize the member experience according to each member’s unique needs. That’s taking big data and making it small.

Digital leaders are made, not born.

Eric Qualman also spoke about how, with advanced technologies, everyone can exert more direct and indirect influence than ever before and become an effective digital leader — anywhere at any time.

Disrupt or die.

Former IBM Chief Innovation Officer and best-selling author Linda Bernardi gave several examples of companies that didn’t see changes coming. Nokia, Motorola, Kodak, Blackberry, Toys R Us, were just some corporations that were blindsided by changes in consumer preferences and changes in technology. Linda suggested that companies have two choices – be the innovator or get pushed out of the way.

2019 AXFI Conference, June 9-12, Minneapolis MN

If someone is going to eat your lunch, it might as well be you.

Eric Qualman also shared the same cautionary message as Linda Bernardi regarding companies that need to innovate or be left behind. His perspective, though, was to not be afraid to disrupt your own organization. He gave the example that Netflix used to be in the business of mailing out discs; at its peak in 2002 Netflix was mailing around 190,000 discs per day. But the company also saw that streaming content was about to take off, so it created a streaming video product that cannibalized its own video-by-mail business, and upended Blockbuster’s market.

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Topics: Collaboration, AXFI Conference, Disruption

Collaboration, CUSOs, and Credit Union Opportunities: Partnering for Advanced Analytics

Posted by Alex Beversdorf on Nov 13, 2018 1:30:45 PM

In the 4th and final Data Lake Series BIGcast, Your Data: The Ultimate Toy Box, John Best speaks with Karan Bhalla (CEO) and Suchit Shah (COO) of CU Rise Analytics. In this podcast they discuss how their strategic partnership with OnApproach came to be and how they have been continually shaping the collaborative nature in the credit union industry together.

Collaboration is Key for Credit Union

The banking industry is currently dominated by big commercial banks like JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo (to name a few) with assets exceeding $1.5 trillion. Financial institutions this big, serving millions of customers per year, possess an unparalleled amount of data. Credit unions’ local and more communal feel have given them the reputation of being much smaller and “weaker” than commercial banks. However, there is one thing credit unions possess that differentiates them from their “stronger” counterparts, and that is collaboration. Karan Bhalla explains:

Every credit union that I’ve talked to, talks about collaboration. Every vendor I’ve talked to mentions it, but none of them really do anything about it. What I’ve found is that there is more of a competitive spirit within the vendors than there is collaborative. OnApproach is one of the only places that I’ve interacted with that is truly trying to create a collaborative workspace for credit unions... That is part of the reason why we’ve partnered with them. We want to be really collaborative and we want to bring the power of numbers/scale to credit unions. And that’s what really excites me about this [Caspian] Data Lake.

The relationship between OnApproach and CU Rise has proven to be a great start to the era of collaboration. They are currently laying the very complex road maps to allow for greater and greater collaboration and predictive analytics across the credit union movement.

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Topics: CUSO, Collaboration

In the Thick of Disruptive Innovation: Credit Unions and Collaborating for Analytics

Posted by Alex Beversdorf on Nov 6, 2018 11:06:00 AM

In the 3rd episode of the Data Lake BIGcast series, Disruptive Data, John Best speaks with Allied Solutions’ David Hilger and Michael Bryan, Senior Vice President and Head of Digital Strategy respectively. The discussion features a very interesting conversation with Allied Solutions about the drastic changes taking place in the financial services industry. They also discuss their partnership with OnApproach and how the implementation of a collaborative data lake for credit unions will completely change the landscape of the industry.

Technology-Driven Business

The worlds of business, financial services, and even our daily lives are constantly changing because of increasing technological capabilities. One major discussion point lately has been the introduction of autonomous vehicles. Leading the charge are large car manufacturers like GM, Ford, BMW (to name a few) and the well-known tech giant, Google. How would this change the insurance industry and how could big data and analytics impact this massive change? David Hilger explains:

Some say it’s a threat to the individual insurance market. At some point when everyone has an autonomous car, where does insurance fit into that? When people stop lending for cars then they will have to stop worrying about the insurance for the cars. The goal of our product is to make sure that the financial institution is protected if there is an accident. For autonomous cars, it depends on the ownership model. Predictive analytics could provide us with more insight. What type of cars, people, borrowers are a greater risk to the institution? Our client is the institution and that’s who we are trying to protect but there is a whole lot of other things that play into this. We don’t have the perfect insight, but we have the scale of data that can help achieve this.

Meeting Consumers’ Expectations: Not Easy but Essential

There have been successful and unsuccessful stories with the use of big data in the past decade or so. As discussed in the Disruptive Data podcast, a primary example is the clear difference in data integration capabilities across companies like Amazon, Netflix and Domino's, compared to the once promising Blockbuster. Being able to analyze and better understand where consumers’ tastes lie is very important to the financial viability of an organization and the community. Consumers have come to expect excellent, personalized and consistent customer service behavior from the merging companies like Amazon, Netflix and Domino's. Michael Bryan explains:

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Topics: Strategic Partnerships, Collaboration

A Credit Union Industry Data Lake: Gearing Up for the Future

Posted by Alex Beversdorf on Oct 30, 2018 11:07:00 AM

This week’s BIGcast brings in OnApproach’s CEO, Paul Ablack, to talk with John Best about his vision for the credit union industry. The second episode of the Data Lake BIGcast Series, Data Lake: What It Takes, discusses how the creation of an industry-standard data lake could completely revolutionize the credit union industry. Paul goes into depth on the capabilities of a data lake and how this transformation is not only beneficial for credit unions, but the entire community.

Laying the Groundwork for the Future

OnApproach is a credit union service organization (CUSO) that is focused on collaborative analytics for the credit union industry. OnApproach provides credit unions with a middleware solution for efficiently organizing and maximizing the full potential of that data. Paul goes on to explain:

Data is extremely valuable for all the initiatives underway. The big challenge for credit unions is the integration of that data and putting it to the correct use. Our mission is to bring all that data into one place and make it easily accessible for not just credit unions, but the industry as a whole. We call this the CU App Store, where app developers and vendors can come in and create an app that credit unions can use to perform analysis (i.e. models of attrition, outreach, and predictive analytics).

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Topics: Data Standards, Collaboration, Data Lake

Giving Credit Unions a Sustainable Competitive Advantage with an Industry Data Lake

Posted by Alex Beversdorf on Oct 22, 2018 12:03:00 PM

Tips to Secure Your Data Lake is the first of four episodes for the Data Lake BIGcast Series. John Best, the CEO of Best Innovation Group, brings in Rojin Nair, General Manager of Fintech Solutions at Celero to discuss data lakes and how a collaborative credit union data lake could revolutionize the industry. Celero is a well-established Canadian fintech company that provides a wide variety of services to the banking industry. By managing financial transaction processing and offering leading technology solutions, they successfully maintain over 80 credit union banking systems.

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Topics: Collaboration, Podcast, Data Lake

How Credit Unions Can Win the Big Data Play

Posted by CU 2.0 on Jul 2, 2018 12:47:00 PM

Ask executives at the money center banks how they plan to win, against both fintechs and smaller institutions like credit unions, and they smirk as they say two words, big data.

Big data is today’s magic.  How does Amazon knows what book you want to read next, or what music you want to buy, or when you are about to run out of cat treats? Those are simple examples but the answer is big data. Amazon crunches a lot of data, in a blink of an eye, and it knows what you want, maybe before you know.

The race now is on inside financial institutions to crunch lots of data and to achieve similar predictive intimacy about their customers and members. 

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Topics: Big Data, Data Pool, Analytic Data Model, Collaboration, Data Lake, Data Ownership

Collaborating for Analytics and Shared Data Applications with Paul Ablack via CUbroadcast [VIDEO]

Posted by Mark Portz on Jun 29, 2018 2:16:00 PM

 

 https://vimeo.com/276979398 

Paul Ablack, CEO, OnApproach, had the chance to catch up with Mike Lawson of CUbroadcast last week at the NAFCU 51st Annual Conference & Solutions Expo. The conversation covers topics from evolution of A.I., digital transformation, a collaborative data lake for the credit union industry, platform analytics, data encryption, cyber security, peer benchmarking, and shared applications on the CU App Store community.  

As a part of the discussion, Paul Ablack explained the progress of the collaborative online analytics marketplace, the CU App Store. In the conversation, Paul explains that, "[OnApproach is] going to build a community around the CU App Store, where credit unions can come in, they can contribute content, and they can comment on the content. Let's say someone puts a really good marketing segmentation report [on the CU App Store], others can build on it, can make it better, they can comment, and place reviews.

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Topics: Video, Collaboration, Digital, Artificial Intelligence, CU App Store, Encryption, Security

Success with Analytics at Our Community Credit Union: The $2.6 Million Man [VIDEO]

Posted by Mark Portz on May 1, 2018 11:10:00 AM

At the 2018 NACUSO Network Conference, Paul Ablack, CEO, OnApproach and Andrew Bertrand, Data and Technology Manager, Our Community Credit Union (OCCU), caught up with Mike Lawson of CUbroadcast to talk about the New CUSO of the Year Award, application/report sharing, credit union collaboration, the 2018 AXFI Conference,  and how Andrew Bertrand has been able to utilize analytics to add $2.6 Million to the bottom line at OCCU in just 3 years. 

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As Andrew states during the discussion, "We've invested into analytics for the last three years, and $2.6 Million is what we've gained bottom line as far as decreased costs and increased yield. We were able to react to the market fast... instead of looking at board reports at the end of the month, we were able to just have daily [analytics]... get management together, make a decision, and get going... We're a $370 Million credit union so that net effect to our bottom line was just great."   

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Topics: Video, Collaboration, AXFI Conference, Case Study, CU App Store

Comparing Credit Unions to Craft Beer: What Can Your Organization Learn from a Brewery?

Posted by Mark Portz on Mar 20, 2018 12:14:00 PM

As collaborative community-based institutions, credit unions are very unique organizations. For many that have not been exposed to credit unions, it is difficult to see what makes this community so special, or even how a credit union differs from a bank, for that matter.

Since my time as an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota, I have been highly involved in another industry, or “community” – that of local craft beer. In fact, discovering the parallels between these two unique industries sparked my initial interest in the credit union movement, and is ultimately what has led me to my current role at a collaborative credit union service organization (CUSO).

In very recent years, the nation has witnessed the craft brewing community explode. In fact, according to the Brewers Association, the craft beer industry has been experiencing years of steady 10-15 percent growth, and now boasts over 6,000 U.S. craft breweries, for the first time in history. Despite the parallels between these communities outlined below, we are all aware of the declining number of U.S. credit unions, shrinking from over 7,200 in 2011, to less than 6,000 today. For community-based institutions focused on quality service, why do these trends differ?

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Topics: Data Pool, Collaboration, CU Analytics Ecosystem